Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Recent happenings of pertinence to Sonic fans.
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Crazy Penguin
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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Crazy Penguin »

Is it just my suckiness, or is there a big spike in difficulty between C class and B class? I can quite consistently finish in 1st place on C class, but get my ass handed to me on B. I don't remember the original being this difficult.

I just finished the GP with the four returning tracks. I liked the previous game, but compared to the new tracks they seem downright primitive. It's not just the addition of boats and planes, the new tracks are a lot tighter, have more alternate paths and are just all around more engaging. And the spectacle of it all is ridiculous, particularly in the Panzer Dragoon and Skies of Arcadia stages. This is one of the few games where a "spectator" mode would be a welcome addition.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Esrever »

There is a pretty serious spike between each of the difficulty settings. The "easy" mode is approximately Mario Kart 50cc easy, but the unlockable fourth "Expert" mode is waaaay past the hardest MK class and into "brutal highest difficulty setting in a serious adult arcade racer" hard. So it's a huge range to cover, leaving a big gap between each of the four modes.

On Hard mode, the better computer players utilize item-dodging maneuvers, hit pretty much every boost pads, and know to take shortcuts. Getting ahead means pretty much doing all those aforementioned things perfectly, and then being better than the they are at maximizing your boosts from drifting, stunts and risk boosts. I was originally almost 100% sure the computer was cheating and using faked catch-up tricks until I played against some of the hard-level ghost data. As you try to keep up with them, you can see they aren't doing anything you can't do... they are just much better at it than you are. It's actually kind of infuriating! lol

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by G.Silver »

Is there any major content that's locked up by the hard modes? I've read a review (that I didn't find particularly convincing) complaining about the difficulty, but it seems to me that if you still get access to all the courses on reasonable difficulty settings that isn't a very big deal.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Esrever »

All the courses can be unlocked by completing them in the regular GPS, even on easy mode.

But the drivers and their "console mods" (unlockable alternate stats for each character) can only be unlocked by collecting stars in the game's World Tour mode. World Tour is a series of missions -- some are regular races, some are battles, some are handling challenges (dodge traffic, drift within these boundaries drawn on the course, never stop boosting, fly your plane through the rings, etc). You get two stars for completing a mission on medium and three on hard. So if you can't complete all the missions on hard, you won't be able to unlock all the drivers.

Personally, I found the Kotaku review complaining about the difficulty (of MEDIUM mode!) completely baffling. I'm not particularly experienced with racing games, and maybe six or seven hours in at most, I'm pretty comfortable tackling all the World Tour events on hard. (Well, almost all... screw you, Seaside Hill traffic challenge!) It's challenging, but the challenge comes from mastering all the mechanics and driving better... so when I've gotten stuck on a particular event and had to spend a half hour or so mastering it to pass, I've found the experience to be very satisfying! (Which is the exact opposite experience I had with Mario Kart 7 and it's non stop barrage of unblockable random item BS.)

I wonder if the problem is that it just isn't the... KIND of experience some people expect or want to have in a game with cartoon drivers? It has a depth and complexity of mechanics and handling, and a lack of random racer re-positioning and assists for the people in last, that are usually not associated with mascot racers. I found all that to be a huge relief after years of growing frustrated with Mario Kart, but maybe some people just don't want that in this genre? It certainly doesn't make it as accessible a party game, as I discovered when I had friends over to play it and completely destroyed them all because I've had a few hours to learn all the boosting strategies and they haven't. But I don't think it's any more skill-favouring than, say, Outrun 2006.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by G.Silver »

That Kotaku review got my blood boiling and I haven't even played the game. It doesn't seem to me like a failing on the reviewer's "gaming skillz" but a lack of recognition that there are a lot of people (they came out in the comments in droves!) who are going to love the game despite the difficulty--not very professional!

How does it compare to Outrun, besides difficulty and obviously being structurally different? When it's a Sega racer with a lot of drifting it seems like that's a comparison people would find informative, but not one I've seen made much (I haven't looked that hard, either, though).

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Esrever »

It was also a little telling that the dude had only played the game for about four to six hours. I admit it seems a LITTLE odd that he was still struggling with medium at that point, especially because medium races in the world tour only require a third place or better finish to advance... but geeze, is it really that unusual to not be ready to tackle hard mode in a racing game after that amount of play time?

I dunno. I am at the very last chunk of the "World Tour" challenge mode -- a post credits bonus section that contains the last two characters -- and it is definitely pushing it. There are a couple of challenges that I have struggled with for an hour or more to complete on hard mode, and I have definitely felt some rage. But these are the hardest challenges in the game! I severely doubt I'll be investing the hours to complete them all on expert mode, but I think it's cool that they are there for the kind of hardcore players that really want them. And unless I'm doing my math wrong you don't even need to complete every event on hard to unlock the last character... just kick it down to medium for the challenges you find the hardest.

Honestly, it has been so long since I've played Outrun now that I'm not really sure how similar it feels! I feel like, compared to previous SEGA racers, the cars feel weightier... a little less "videogamey", if you know what I mean, and a little more like more recent arcade racers from other companies.

A big gamechanger is the "switch drift"... if you immediately switch from drifting one way to drifting in the opposite direction, it won't interrupt your boost charging. The boost takes quite a long time to charge to "level 3", but level 3 is extremely powerful. So you are heavily motivated to navigate nearly every non-straight portion of the track by just chaining drifts together constantly, even moreso than before.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Opa-Opa »

I'm loving it but the game has a few little problems that annoy me. Most of them related to retries on World Tour. Many of the missions I have to try and try again (especially those damned Traffic missions), and some of them end really quickly if you fail, so you'll be playing for 30 seconds, fail, and then you have to wait 10 seconds for the game to start again. I know it sounds really really petty to complain about a few seconds, but after your 30th try, that kind of thing annoys more and more.

I'm replaying all the World Tour missions on Expert now. This game is kicking my ass, but it's oh so good.

It does remind me a bit of Outrun. The drift sure feels a bit like it. But I had the same feeling on the first game as well.

Did you guys get Alex Kidd on Christmas? That was fun.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by G.Silver »

I was sure that had to be some kind of prank. But here we are.

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Re: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed announced

Post by Radrappy »

holy shit finally a character people actually want to play as.

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